Speaking with Bloomberg post-announcement, Phil Spencer has said that the company will honour Bethesda’s timed-exclusviity deals for both Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo, and insisted that future Bethesda games will be looked at “on a case-by-case basis.” Furthermore, Spencer confirmed that future Bethesda games would be available via Xbox Game Pass for both PC and Xbox.[ORIGINAL STORY BELOW]
In possibly the biggest acquisition ever seen in the games industry, Microsoft has tonight dropped a bombshell, announcing that it has agreed in principle to purchase Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media for US$7.5 billion. Yes, you read that right. Microsoft now owns game publisher Bethesda and its roster of studios including Arkane, Bethesda Softworks, id Software and MachineGames. It means that Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Wolfenstein, Dishonored, the upcoming Starfield and more are now Microsoft-owned IPs.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer announced the acquisition in a blog post.
Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.
Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways. All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you.
What this means for future Bethesda games is anyone’s guess until clarification is provided, but could it mean that we’ll see Xbox published games (under the Bethesda label) hit the PlayStation platform? After all, Phil Spencer believes exclusives are “counter to what gaming is all about.” Bethesda currently has two titles in development that are timed exclusives for the PS5: Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo. While we expect these titles to still release on the PS5, whether they remain timed exclusives we’ll have to wait and find out.